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Phoenix Suns

Updated Apr 15, 2013 - 11:18 pm

Suns Strokes: Phoenix wins regular season home finale

Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic, of Slovenia, drives against the Houston Rockets during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Behind ex-Rockets Luis Scola and Goran Dragic and perhaps the best game of Markieff Morris' young career, the Phoenix Suns beat the Houston Rockets 119-112 in the 2012-13 regular season home finale Monday night.

The win snapped a franchise-record seven-game home losing streak and came in front of 17,135 fans at US Airways Center.

Scola scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. Goran Dragic had a double-double (12 points and 13 assists) by the halftime and helped the Suns set a season-high for points in a half (67) in the process.

Morris finished with 20 points, extending his double-digit scoring streak to a career-high five consecutive games. He tied a career-high with five steals, and also set a career-high with six blocks.

PJ Tucker joined the party, as well, with a career-high 21 points.

The Good:

Four Suns scored 20 or more points in the same game for the first time since January 6, 2010. Ironically that performance also came in a game against the Houston Rockets (Amare Stoudemire, Channing Frye, Jason Richardson and Steve Nash).

Dragic, who received three stitches above his left eye in the third quarter, recorded his fifth 20-10 game, finishing with 21 points and 14 assists.

Scola grabbed 15 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season.

The Bad:

The Suns opened a 12-point advantage thanks to a 39-point opening quarter -- the team's highest scoring quarter of the season -- only to lose the lead in the first seven minutes of the second quarter, getting outscored 27-11.

He Said It:

"If we would play like this earlier (in the season), for sure we would be close to the playoffs," Dragic said. "But now, we still got one more game left. We'll try to win that one too. It's going to be tough in Denver but why not?"

Noted:

• Jermaine O'Neal (bruised left shin) missed his second straight game.

• Marcin Gortat (midfoot sprain) did not dress; he had hoped to return for home finale.

• The Suns' 12 wins under interim head coach Lindsey Hunter have come against teams with a combined record of 519-433 (.540)

• Phoenix's hopes of landing a second lottery pick are still very much alive with Utah winning at Minnesota Monday night. The Jazz remain a game back of the Lakers for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

Up Next:

The Suns close out the 2012-13 regular season in Denver with a game against the Nuggets on Wednesday. That same night, the Cavaliers will be in Charlotte to play the Bobcats. The Suns (25-56) trail the Cavaliers (24-57) by one game for the third-worst record (and thus the third-best draft lottery odds) in the NBA.

About the Author


School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams

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